Immigration Reform Dealt Another Blow

[Content Note: Anti-immigrant sentiment; racism.]

So, last November, President Obama announced a series of executive actions on immigration that were to provide at least temporary relief to nearly five million undocumented immigrants in the US and shield immigrant and migrant children from deportation if they were brought into the US without documentation. Despite the fact that conservatives immediately began caterwauling about executive overreach, the President was obliged to take executive action to address immigration because Congress refused to do it. In fact, Congressional Republican leadership explicitly and publicly urged the President to take executive action when they didn't want to take a position.

In December, Judge Arthur Schwab, a Republican-appointed judge in a federal court in Pennsylvania, turned a pretty typical immigration case into a referendum on the constitutionality of President Obama's executive actions on immigration policy, in order to declare aspects of them unconstitutional. "declared aspects of President Obama's executive actions on immigration policy unconstitutional."

Then, in February, after 26 states said they wanted to bring a lawsuit against the Obama administration to halt the executive order, US District Judge Andrew Hanen blocked the President's executive actions to give those states "time to pursue a lawsuit that aims to permanently stop the orders."

The Justice Department appealed the ruling, and, yesterday, a federal appeals court denied the administration's request to lift the hold imposed by Judge Hanen.
The ruling comes in a lawsuit filed by Texas and 25 other states against actions President Obama took in November. Many of the initiatives were scheduled to take effect this month.

The appeals court found that the states had sufficient legal grounds to bring the lawsuit and that the administration had not shown that it would be harmed if the injunction remained in place and the programs were further delayed.

...In a statement, Ken Paxton, the attorney general of Texas, said Mr. Obama had tried to impose "a drastic change in immigration policy" without the consent of Congress. The appeals court decision is "a victory for those committed to preserving the rule of law in America," Mr. Paxton said. "We will continue to fight the brazen lawlessness that has become a trademark of the Obama administration."

...In the 70-page opinion, two judges wrote that Texas had shown it would incur significant costs in issuing driver's licenses to [undocumented] immigrants who would be allowed to stay in the country.
So, to recap: Congress refuses to take action on immigration reform; Republican leadership tells Obama to do it via executive action; Obama issues executive order; conservatives do everything in their power to stop executive order and whinge about "brazen lawlessness," despite the fact that it ain't liberals who have traditionally argued for a strong unitary executive and that President Obama was doing what the legislature refused to do.

Meanwhile, an injunction is granted because it might cost Texas some money to issue driver's licenses to undocumented workers. (Okay.) And the administration couldn't prove "it would be harmed if the injunction remained in place," but never mind the millions of undocumented immigrants who are harmed by these delays.
Marielena Hincapie, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, said that part of the intent of the lawsuit was "to delay, to confuse and to instill fear" among immigrants. "The consequences are devastating," she said. "Our communities suffer every single day." She acknowledged that carrying out the programs would be "a harder challenge for our communities" after long delays.
And there you have it.

The truth is, there are plenty of politicians in this country who want undocumented immigrants and migrant workers to be here but only if they are undocumented and are thus exploitable. They don't want to give them rights in exchange for their labor, and they certainly don't want to give them a livable wage, because that would be bad for business.

Profits over people. As usual.

And they justify this heinous position with lies about undocumented workers who don't pay taxes, and ghost stories about undocumented workers who rape and murder (white) citizens, and concern trolling about how undocumented workers harm documented immigrants and their families.

Anything so that we might ignore that undocumented workers are humans, vulnerable humans, more likely to be exploited and harmed than hurt anyone else.

People who work here and live here and pay taxes here and make a life here deserve the rights we all (are meant to) enjoy. It's really just that simple. At least, it should be.

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